Norway termed the world's happiest country replacing Denmark

Smiling boy in the rain

According to the latest World Happiness Report, released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations, Norway moved up from fourth place previous year to the tops list, and displaced three-time victor Denmark, taking the title of "world's happiest country" for the first time.

The study, which measures social factors alongside economic data, points to the limitations of financial factors in achieving happiness.

One of the reasons for the good performance of Nordic countries in the happiness report is the sense of community in societies, according to its lead author.

When it comes to happiness, Russian Federation ranked 49th (56th in 2015), according to the World Happiness Report, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and funded by the Ernesto Illy Foundation. "All of these are found in Norway, as well as in the other top countries". Other countries in the top 10 include Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. With the release, the SDSN called on nations to build social trust and equality to improve the well-being of their citizens.

In the first ever World Happiness Report in 2012, the United Kingdom was 18th, before sliding out to 21st by 2015. Apparently, the Chinese are no happier today than they were 25 years ago - despite a steady increase in income over the past quarter of a century. Sachs said the United States had dropped one place due to rising inequality, distrust and corruption. That boosted the per person annual income, as measured by economic output, to more than $100,000 - almost double that of the United States.

The makers of the report say on their website that it "continues to gain global recognition as governments, organizations and civil society increasingly use happiness indicators to inform their policy-making decisions". "I think everything that has been proposed goes in the wrong direction".

"The United States can and should raise happiness by addressing America's multi-faceted social crisis- rising inequality, corruption, isolation, and distrust-rather than focusing exclusively or even mainly on economic growth, especially since the concrete proposals along these lines would exacerbate rather than ameliorate the deepening social crisis". The bottom five are Central African Republic, Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda.

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